On the 22 nd May 2016, Netmatters attended the 2016 East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival in aid of East Coast Hospice. The event is one of the largest Dragon Boat charity events in the UK with over 5,000 people coming from all over East Anglia every year to watch the races and cheer on the teams, all in the name of charity. This was the second year in a row that Netmatters had entered the event, having been crowned champions at the previous event they had their eyes on the top spot again and knew it was going to be tough. Training had been ramped up in the lead up to the event and the team was well drilled with their timings and technique.
18 Teams started the day, businesses from all over East Anglia arrived to enjoy the day and race. The event consisted of a total of 5 races. Each team would race 3 heats and the 6 teams with the combined fastest time would go through to the semi-finals. Netmatters got through to the semi finals by being the 3rd fastest overall, this placed them in the second of the 2 semi-finals meaning that they would have to race semi-final and final back to back if they were to get through. Training had been ramped up over the course of the year and the team was well drilled but there was an unknown quality to the competition, a few new teams presented new challenges and no one could call it.
In their semi-final race, the team dug deep and had to utilise every minute of training and every ounce of stamina to keep rowing. They managed to win their semi-final and progress to the final, just one race to go.
Tension was high in the Netmatters camp, the teams in the final had both placed faster times during the day, Netmatters would have to really give it all to win. Straight from the semi-final to the final with almost no rest, the wait to start only built up even more tension.
The final was over in 53 seconds, a course record which was achieved by Netmatters. Winning the final by a clear 2 seconds they had retained their title for the second year running and were champions again.
Chris Gulliver, Managing Director of Netmatters said after the event: "This is a great event and lots of our families have come along to support us, so it really brings the community together. It has been great seeing the public having fun and we are so grateful to all those participating in the teams. We will be here again next year and look forward to it."